Can your smartphone make you happier? Healthier? Richer?
I think it can.
There are a million apps out there, and most are useless, if we are being honest. I do love a good game of Angry Birds, but what is that really doing to make me a better person? Well, nothing. While there are a bazillion apps in the world that serve as distractions, time killers, or substitutes for real human contact, there are also some apps out there that can actually make your off-screen life better.
In this three-week series, I’m bringing you apps that can make you happier, healthier, and richer. And they’re all free!
This week, I’m focusing on apps that make you happier.
Gratitude has been scientifically proven to make us happier. When we reflect on the things in our life that have made us happy or grateful, we are happier. Positive psychologist Martin Seligman recommends keeping a gratitude journal of what makes us happy daily. Lucky for us, apps can do that, too.
My favorite app by far has been Happier.
Happier is like a mini social network for all things happy. You can post “statuses” about what you’re happy for in your day. The app sends you push notifications about once daily reminding you to write down something you’re happy for, and also sends you push notifications reminding you of things you were happy about in the past: “Remember how happy you were when X happened?”
You can connect with friends and then have a Twitter-like news feed of just happy. The app also offers paid programs like a gratitude program, that links you with a coach, sends you inspirational videos, and more. I haven’t personally tried it but it looks pretty cool.
The only downside to Happier is that it’s obviously not widely used, so there are probably not too many of your friends using it…yet. I think as the app catches on – and you share it with friends – it will become much more useful in its social capabilities.
Happier has been the most interactive of the free apps I’ve found, but there are some others that follow a more traditional “gratitude journal” format and are also great.
Gratitude Tree lets you add “leaves” to your gratitude tree so you can observe as your tree becomes filled with things you’re happy for. The downside to this one for me is that you have to click on each leaf to read the things you wrote. But if you just want a simple visual and a place to record your daily happy, this does the job.
Gratitude 365 looks like a journal and can be filled daily with the things you are happy for. If you want to start keeping a gratitude journal but are always on the go or glued to your phone, this is an awesome option. I like the interface a lot. It’s clean and lets you easily flip through your journal and see past entries. It also has a calendar feature so you can find specific days’ entries.
If you decide to try one of these, I’d love to hear your opinions! Look out next week for part 2 in the series.
What made you happy today?
feature image: iphone